DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Influenza viruses. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through a cluster of influenza (flu) viruses. These orthomyxovirus viruses are made up of a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) in a protein coat which is surrounded by an outer spiked envelope (blue). The tiny protein spikes stick to host cells when the virus invades the body. This contagious virus has an affinity for mucus and is spread in droplets from coughs or sneezes. The antigen spikes can mutate and change form making the immune system ineffective and resulting in epidemics. To protect those at risk, new influenza vaccines must be prepared and given every year. Magnification: x52,500 at 6x4.5cm size x28,200 at 35mm.
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